Story by Matthew Robinson
Jamie Oliver is setting off on the culinary journey of a lifetime as he travels around the USA for his new six-part series, Jamie’s American Roadtrip, to be shown on Channel 4 this autumn.
But the series is more than a straightforward cooking and travel series – as Jamie delves deep into the social issues and diverse cultures of 21st Century America. The result is unpredictable, often challenging, but ultimately heart-warming and entertaining television.
Jamie is heading off the beaten track to find the real underground food and meet up with the unsung heroes who make American food far more interesting and varied than it’s reputation allows. Rather than fancy restaurants and top chefs, he’ll be meeting, and learning from, real cooks making honest food for working people at street stalls, off-road diners and down-to-earth local restaurants. Along the way, he’s picking up delicious new recipes, experiencing tastes old and new, and learning how other cultures adapt when they come to the USA.
From cowboys to alligator hunters, and ex-gang members to high-society ladies, Jamie wants to discover the real heart of America, through its people, culture, music and – most importantly – its food.
In each episode Jamie will be exploring the food, local hang-outs and people of places as diverse as the immigrant communities in New York’s Queens district where Jamie helps to serve food on the streets in the bitter East Coast winter; the hurricane-struck residents of Louisiana, still trying to rebuild years after Katrina; and the Navajo Indians of Arizona, who are desperately fighting to keep their food culture alive.
Jamie Oliver says: “Many people think American food is just burgers, fries and huge portions. But there’s so much more to the country and its food than that, so I want to get beyond the stereotypes and try the real taste of America.
“Away from the tourist traps, the US is a fascinating country with so many cultures existing side-by-side, exchanging ideas, solving issues and of course sharing food. On my trip I’ve met some incredible people from the Navajo, struggling to preserve their culture in the 21st century, to a guy in New York city who goes out every night to feed home-cooked food to dozens of homeless people.
“Along the way I’ve eaten the most amazing meals, cooked with love by people who care about their way of life, whether it’s Hispanic former gangsters in East Los Angeles or soul-food lovers in the Deep South.
“It’s an epic journey across a stunning and varied country and I’ll never think of America in the same way again.”
Jamie’s American Roadtrip is made by Fresh One Productions and will be shown on Channel 4 in autumn 2009, a book to accompany the series, Jamie's America, is published by Michael Joseph/Penguin.
For more information on Fresh One